The Antlers - Heaven, London - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

The Antlers - Heaven, London

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:

This Brooklyn trio created quite a buzz in 2009 with the release of their third record, concept album Hospice. A hauntingly beautiful piece, exploring the deepest emotions of the human psyche. Their second album Burst Apart released May 10, is a continuation of this theme, more matured and textural. It's evident the musicianship of this band has improved and their arrangements have become more complex. Their song-writing skill is remarkable, poignant lyrics which cut to the very soul delivered in a spine-tingling falsetto which can easily rival if not better the likes of The National and The Walkmen.

Having just fallen in love with their new album, I was ecstatic to find they were playing In London, and couldn't help but wonder, could they possibly measure up live? That question was answered within minutes of the band opening with 'I Don't Want Love'. Peter Silberman's voice was pitch perfect and stunningly heart-wrenching. The audience stood in mesmerized silence, gripped by an intensity which just carried us along and into what felt like the very core of the music.

'Rolled Together' was an intense moment as the opening vocal of this song requires hitting notes which most humans can never even hope to reach, let alone maintain for a prolonged period of time. This was simply magnificent. And if you fail to be impressed then you just don't have ears. The effect of simple lighting filtered through a constant swirl of smoke created a befitting ethereal ambiance which enhanced to mood perfectly without being distracting.

The highlight of the night was 'Kettering'. Starting slow it builds with intensity, crescendoing finally in an explosion of guitars, drums, raw emotion and rapturous applause from the crowd. As the noise died down a lone voice shouted out what I know I was thinking: "What a fucking band".

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